Michigan State incoming freshman and quarterback hopeful Damion Terry sure did make an impact on Spartans' head coach Mark Dantonio during last Saturday's preseason scrimmage.
On Tuesday, Dantonio made no excuses and flat out told reporters that the line for those hoping to earn the top QB spot just got a little longer.
“You can assess at the beginning of the scrimmage, it was a three-horse race,” Dantonio said, “and at the end of the scrimmage, it was a four-horse race. I think that’s the fair thing to assess right now. Tom Izzo plays a freshman point guard all the time. All the time. When that guy asserts himself and takes control of the football team — or the basketball team — that’s the guy who’s going to play.
“I don’t care whether he’s a senior, junior, sophomore, redshirt freshman or freshman. That’s the best thing to do. Damion has to prove consistency in performance. The other guys have to move the ball with more consistency and they’ve got to break away from their own three-man race.”
Terry completely stunned the team and coaches during the scrimmage by completing 10 of 14 passes for 240 yards, including 40 earned on the ground running, and throwing three touchdowns; much of which, Dantonio reiterated, was against the No. 1 defensive squad.
“As the (second) scrimmage progressed he did well with the threes,” Dantonio said of Terry, who completed 10 of 14 passes Saturday, with three touchdowns. “I sort of shrugged my shoulders and put him with the twos. Sort of shrugged my shoulders and put him with the ones. It’s not that complicated. You’re gonna play the guys that move the football down the field that don’t make mistakes, that can create. I’ve said that all along. He demonstrated that.”
Now the rest of the team is really beginning to take notice of Terry. This included junior linebacker Taiwan Jones, who said the team heard a lot about Terry before the start of preseason, but finally got a chance to see what all the hype was about at last Saturday's scrimmage.
“There was a lot of talk about him coming in,” Jones said of young freshman. “I always wanted to see what he could do and Saturday he showed it, like ‘I’m not just this freshman, I can make plays, I can come in and if I need to play right away I can.’ He showed everybody that and I was really surprised by it — and also excited for him.”
You can follow MSU writer, Michael Ferro, at twitter.com/MichaelFerro.